RealTimeWT-Tower – Real Time Analysis of the Dynamic Behavior and Damage Prediction for Wind Turbine Towers

The German federal government plans by the year 2050 to cover 80% of the electricity demand with renewable energies, among which wind energy plays a major role. In this context, the trend towards higher wind turbine energy production through larger rotors and slenderer towers increases the relevance of the soil-structure-drive train interaction (SSDI) for the overall wind turbine dynamics.

The tower accounts for the highest proportion of the total costs of a wind turbine, so that a cost-efficient design and maintenance of this component can reveal an unused potential for reducing the LCOE. The deviations between the planning of wind turbines and their real operation inevitably lead to uncertainties that can cause both economic and safety-related problems. The stability, operability and availability of wind turbines depend significantly on the dynamic vibration effects and their caused structural damage.

An individual documentation of the cumulative vibration history as a result of specific vibration events of wind turbines could represent a solution to this matter. The goal of the project is to set up a system consisting of a real wind turbine, which is equipped with appropriate sensors, and a validated and real-time capable digital model of the real wind turbine, which is coupled to the installed sensors and monitors the turbine operation. The measured vibrations will be continuously evaluated. Such a coupling during operation of the actual vibration effects with the models of the damage they cause enables the wind turbine status to be assessed in real time. As a result, a maintenance strategy on demand (instead of periodical) can be pursued.

In addition, the acquisition of real measurement data allows far-reaching possibilities for the validation and further development of forecast and load models (e.g. vortex-induced transverse vibrations). The knowledge can thus also flow into the design process of new turbines.

 Projekttitel:RealTimeWT-Tower – Echtzeitanalyse des dynamischen Verhaltens und Schädigungsprognose von WEA-Türmen
Fördergeber:Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK)
Forschungsvereinigung:Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (PtJ)
Projektpartner:    Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD), RWTH Aachen (
Nordex (
Projektkoordinator:M. Sc. Stefan Witter
(+49) 241 80 90895
Projektlaufzeit: 06.2021-05.2024

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